By Mark Merueñas | GMA News | May 27, 2014
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday said the National Bureau of Investigation has just handed to her its final report on the extortion claim made against outgoing Metro Rail Transit Line 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III.
In a text message to reporters, De Lima said the NBI submitted to her the report on Monday. De Lima, however, refused to divulge its contents, adding President Benigno Aquino III will have to see it first.
"The NBI submitted to me yesterday [Monday] its final report on the extortion probe. I will forward the report to the President today," De Lima said.
The submission of the NBI report came on the same day the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) relieved Vitangcol for his alleged involvement in the anomalous transactions connected to the MRT-3 expansion project.
Earlier, DOTC spokesperson Michael Sagcal said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya issued an order Monday naming Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) administrator Honorito Chaneco as the officer-in-charge of MRT-3.
Vitangcol was earlier accused by Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Josef Rychtar of trying to extort $30 million from Czech firm Inekon in exchange for a contract to supply 48 new trains for the MRT expansion project.
Inekon was reportedly blacklisted from the bidding after it refused to pay the government official.
Among those earlier invited by the NBI to help shed light on the controversy was Comm Builders Technology Philippines Corp (CB&T) president Roehl "Boyett" Bacar.
CB&T and its partner Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corp. (PH Trams) were awarded the maintenance contract for the MRT project.
Rychtar was earlier quoted in reports as saying Bacar was "among the people involved in a cooked joint venture that transferred the maintenance of MRT from contractor Sumitoo to CB&T."
The extortion attempt allegedly took place while Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II was still head of the DOTC. Rychtar also accused one of PH Trams' incorporators, Wilson de Vera, of being involved. De Vera has since denied the ambassador's claim. — RSJ, GMA News